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March 24, 2010 07:02 PM UTC

GOP "Repeal" Efforts Already Sputtering?

  • by: Colorado Pols

We wrote yesterday that Republicans should be careful about going full-steam ahead in attacking health care reform:

Now that the bill is done — now that Republicans can’t excite people about what might be in a reform bill, but instead can only talk about what is in the bill — the task of using health care reform as a way to victory in November is decidedly different. Voters may find pieces of the legislation that they are unhappy with, but by and large most of them aren’t going to dislike the idea, for example, of ending restrictions on pre-existing conditions.

As it turns out, Republicans are already slowing down on their cries to repeal the legislation. As Ezra Klein writes in a blog for The Washington Post:

So in about 12 hours, the GOP’s position has gone from “repeal this socialist monstrosity that will destroy our final freedoms” to “there are some things we don’t like about this legislation and would like to repeal, and there are some things we support and would like to keep.”

“We always said there are things that we can all agree on in the bill,” said Rep. Brett Guthrie.

At this rate, they’ll be running on expanding the bill come November.

Here in Colorado, Republican Senate candidates Jane Norton, Tom Wiens and Ken Buck have all pledged to repeal the legislation if elected, joining many other Republican candidates for Congress around the state. None of them are well-served by national Republicans backing off now, though perhaps they should have treaded more carefully to begin with.

UPDATE: Might a new Gallup poll have something to do with this?

Nearly half of Americans give a thumbs-up to Congress’ passage of a healthcare reform bill last weekend, with 49% calling it “a good thing.” Republicans and Democrats have polar opposite reactions, with independents evenly split.

The findings, from a March 22 USA Today/Gallup poll conducted one day after the bill received a majority of votes in the U.S. House of Representatives, represent immediate reactions to the vote.

Americans’ emotional responses to the bill’s passage are more positive than negative — with 50% enthusiastic or pleased versus 42% angry or disappointed — and are similar to their general reactions…

Passage of healthcare reform was a clear political victory for President Obama and his allies in Congress. While it also pleases most of his Democratic base nationwide, it is met with greater ambivalence among independents and with considerable antipathy among Republicans. Whether these groups’ views on the issue harden or soften in the coming months could be crucial to how healthcare reform factors into this year’s midterm elections. Given that initial public reaction to Sunday’s vote is more positive than recent public opinion about passing a healthcare reform bill, it appears some softening has already occurred.


22 thoughts on “GOP “Repeal” Efforts Already Sputtering?

  1. the Gallop poll that showed 49% approval vs 40% disapproval? Already? A huge turn around in public opinion within hours, before team Obama had even gotten started on the promised post passage message blitz?

    Could it be that, outside of their base, people are finally accepting that all the scary death panel, Stalinist take-over stories were baseless? Could they finally be getting an inkling that they have over-played the irrational hysteria, hatred, fear and paranoia to the point where their  influence with the middle and indies is fading?

    Could they be afraid that the more people see this the more they’ll like it?  That was certainly their spinner in chief, Frank Luntz’s greatest fear.  He’s the guy who  warned them that health care reform, if passed by Dems, would prove so popular it would be a total disaster for the GOP.  

    1. I hope someone in the media pushed them on WHY they want to repeal the legislation.  I want to hear some actual articulation on why they believe it is so horrible for America.

      When a group like Club 20 comes out in strong favor of the individual mandate (actually reiterating their support), I no longer have an idea of what folks like Norton are going to stand on.

    1. But since they claim that they had no in-put, there was no bi-partisanship, they were completely shut out of a process by which Dems (never mind they represent the majority of the electorate by virtue of being the elected majority) shoved the whole thing down the American public’s throat, how can they then take credit for preventing or contributing anything?

      Their threat was that Dems would own this and pay for it.  Well, Dems do own  it.  The question is who is going to be paying the highest price?  Guess we’ll see.

    1. We have our first Republican taking credit for the health care reform bill!

      Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), who voted against the bill, has denounced it repeatedly, and who was a critical factor in gumming up negotiations in the Senate last summer, issued a press release today touting his authorship of an obscure provision in the bill:

      In 2009, he drafted legislative reforms and succeeded in persuading the Democratic majority to include several of the reforms in the new health care law.

      … that he then voted against!

      1. Just as David Frum pointed out, a case can be made that the final bill took much of its form from Romney’s Mass. bill which also had origins in the Heritage Foundation outline in the early ’90’s.

        So by summer, at the latest, watch for GOP talking points claiming line-by-line credit for this bill — “It was always our idea, anyway”.

        Think 42% of Americans will fall for it?  Yeah, probably.

      2. the same Charles Grassley who also says there was no bi-partisanship in crafting the bill.  It will be the same story with every R who now comes forward to take some credit. So which is it, Rs?  An entirely Dem bill that belongs to them alone or a bill full of things their bi-partisan outreach to you allowed to be included?  It can’t be both. One of those talking points has to go

  2. Mr. Wiens sent an email out this afternoon. In the subject line he states:

    Wiens: Duty to repeal socialized medicine

    In the body of his email he states in bold:

    The duty of the next Congress and Senate is simple:

    Repeal the reckless and wasteful spending programs passed by the most liberal Congress in history.

    Mr. Wiens has joined the bankwagon of Republicans calling for complete repeal of the health care legislation. He too now has to answer why he wants to go back to the way it was when insurance companies could cancel your insurance if you developed a serious medical condition; refuse to insure you because of a preexisitng condition; force your children off your insurance once they reached the age of 21 and why oh why does he want to continue a system where one third of the personal banckruptcies are caused because people are forced to spend their entire life savings to either save themselves or a loved one.

    Mr. Wiens, the voters would like you to answer.

    1. should be able to understand questions that might be more complicated than most candidates can understand. He DID sell insurance. Went bankrupt. But, he ought to be able to really explain his position.

  3. As I recall, it was limits on malpractice and abolition of state regulations so that insurance could be sold nationally.

    If the Obama plan had failed, and nothing had passed, and in 15 years another Democratic President (oh let’s say Russ Feingold) had proposed the current Republican plan, how many Republican politicians would have called tort reform and abolishing regulations a “socialist takeover”?

    If you said anything less than 100%, please stop giving Democrats advice in the future.

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